Mortgage News Roundup
July 3rd, 2014
Mortgage News Roundup
Today’s roundup is for home buyers. We found ten tips for helping you buy a home, how to win a bidding war, and some lessons from seasoned home inspectors.
How to Win a Bidding War On a Home
You’ve heard horror stories about people getting out-bid on houses all the time. Believe it or not, a seller isn’t always looking for the best price. Sometimes they just want the easiest path and not have their time wasted by people who can’t back up a good offer.
That means getting pre-approved for a mortgage and having all your paperwork (the pre-approval, proof of income, work history and bank statements) easy to access.
Yahoo! Homes posted these five strategies to win a housing bidding war:
- Agree to outbid everyone. Do you really want the place? You can outmatch every other bidder by creating a contract with a so-called “escalation clause.”
- Be first. See the home as soon as it comes on the market. That way, you can get your bid in early and preempt later offers.
- Be flexible (but not foolish) with contingencies.
- Get your mortgage ready in advance. Don’t have a ton of cash to put on the table? Try pre-underwriting a mortgage instead.
- Pay with cash. The best way to get a seller’s attention is with cold hard cash.
Contact a reputable loan officer to get your pre-approval in hand and get all of your questions answered about mortgages and what you can afford.
The Top 10 Things You Need to Know When Buying a Home
Money Magazine at the CNN website posted these 10 tips for buying a house:
- Don’t buy if you can’t stay put for at least a few years.
- Start by shoring up your credit.
- Aim for a home you can really afford.
- If you can’t put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan.
- Buy in a district with good schools even if you don’t have kids.
- Get professional help.
- Choose carefully between points and rate.
- Before house hunting, get pre-approved.
- Do your homework before bidding.
- Hire a home inspector.
Home horrors: Lessons from home inspectors
MSN has a great article on lessons to be learned from home inspectors with the following tips:
- Just because you’re dry doesn’t mean the roof isn’t leaking
- Everyone may think the house is on a slab, but thinking so doesn’t make it so
- Just because the floor is level doesn’t mean it hasn’t sunk half a foot
- Stucco can look really nice even when the house is flooding
- So what if the electrical worked then — it’s not adequate today
- The water can taste good even if the pipes are about to burst
- A municipal housing inspector is not a housing inspector
- Finally, not every home inspector is created equal
A typical home inspection for a three-bedroom house costs $300 to $450. When hiring an inspector, buyers should ask the home inspector the following:
- How many years have you been in the business? How many hours of home inspections have you completed?
- Do you have references?
- How long are your reports? A report of more than 20 pages smells of an online boilerplate form with extraneous home advice, Salomon says. An experienced inspector will write a concise report in his own words.
- What training do you have? Unlike the 12-year-old boy, for example, Salomon also has a degree in mechanical engineering.
- Are you a member of any local or national professional organizations? How do you keep up with changes in industry?
- How many hours of continuing education do you complete each year?